The Task Force was founded in 1994 by Dr. Nancy A. Rudd (Professor Emeritus, Fashion & Retail Studies) and Jan Fonarow (Former Director, Student Wellness Office) after 2 events during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week with disappointing results:
- Nancy Rudd gave a public lecture on body image & eating disorders (about 7 attended)
- Jan Fonarow did eating disorder questionnaire screenings (2 participated).
Jan and Nancy each invited 2 professional colleagues to brainstorm how to have a body image presence on campus: Dr. Sharron Lennon, associate professor in Fashion & Retail Studies, and Dr. Louise Douce, Director of Counseling & Consultation Services (CCS). About 20 faculty and staff attended our first official meeting, and the Task Force was born. Over the year, members from both academic departments and student life departments have included Fashion & Retail Studies, Department of Dance, Human Nutrition, Women’s Studies (now Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies), Social Work, Psychology, Human Development & Family Studies, Nursing, CCS, Student Wellness, Student Health, Residence Life, Greek Life, Rec Facilities (now RPAC), Athletics, and The Center for Balanced Living off-campus. The group established our current format of meeting together once a month to share information on issues of concern to students, outreach programs, and courses dealing with health and wellness.
Over these 25 years, the Task Force has:
- Delivered a campus-wide annual Body Image Bazaar for 20 years (since 1999).
- Printed a Bodies Under Siege brochure to help those with body or eating disorders
- Created and delivered a Freshman Seminar on Body Image for 9 years.
- Created and delivered an upper level body image course for 2 years.
- Brought numerous speakers to campus (Caroline Miller, Travis Matthews, Jean Kilbourne, and several others, all with funding that was raised by members or received in grants.)
- Applied for and received a community outreach grant to develop more resources.
- Proposed the Wellness Collaborative.
- Reached many residence halls, sororities and fraternities with programs.
- Helped develop an eating disorders policy for the Athletics Department.
- Team-taught a 4-week module on body image to first year medical students.
- Partnered to assist student organizations (Body Sense, Student Dietetic Organization, etc.) in peer-to-peer program training
If you have an idea for or would like to participate on the Task Force, please contact us!